Changing Face of the British For-Profit Higher Education
We haven't seen much start-up activity yet, but considering the landscape looks like the Internet industry in the middle of the dotcom bust, we should see new and disruptive start-ups, with global/local business models and commitment to educational innovation (away from the current strategy of pretending to be an university), winning in the marketplace. This moment will come once the dust settles in the industry, around the end of this year, when the new regulatory regime as prescribed by the government fully falls in place, the winners and losers of the For-Profit industry are sorted out and when the Public Education system begins to crumble, with the universities showing their vulnerability for the first time with dipping demand at home and abroad. This is also when the investment bubble in Higher Education will also be exposed, and the current wave of M&A interest, which is following its usual 5 or 10 year cycles, which is crowding out the space for innovative start-ups, start to dissipate, just like it did after the dotcom crash. Indeed, some ventures will take off earlier, and these will be the first-mover winners of the game; and, indeed, there will be some better funded second acts, coming into existence in 2013, which will divvy up the market.